Have you ever wondered how to become a model? Have you ever imagined what the world of modeling would be like? If so, you will enjoy this expert interview with former ELLEgirl Features Editor Melissa Walker. She not only offers her unique insight into the world of modeling, but she is also the author of the book Violet on the Runway, the story of an average girl who is whisked into the modeling business for the opportunity of a lifetime.
About Melissa Walker
Melissa is a former ELLEgirl Features Editor and Seventeen Prom Editor. She has also appeared on VH1's The Fabulous Life of Celebrity Kids and has also added "book author" to her list of accomplishments.
Recently, LoveToKnow Teen was able to talk with Melissa about her book and about how to become a model. She says that working in the magazine industry gave her the opportunity to be around models on photo shoots as well as writing profiles on them. All of this has given her unique insight into the modeling industry.
Interview: How to Become a Model
- LTK: What prompted you to write a book?
Melissa Walker: As soon as I started peeking behind the scenes of modeling and fashion as a magazine editor, I knew I wanted to put a "real girl" in the middle of this crazy world. It's an insane environment, so there's lots of fodder for adventure, humor and drama, especially from the point of view of a small town girl who's not yet jaded.
- LTK: How true-to-life are the experiences in your book?
MW: I definitely based most characters on a mix of people I know or have met. The fashion world characters especially (models, photographers, agents, designers) are based on people I've met or seen in New York. Lots of the model apartment stuff is based on my experience hanging out with models for stories.
- LTK: What kind of advice do you have for girls who want to know how to become a model?
MW: You definitely need thick skin and a good support system of family and friends who can help you remember what is important to you. Your priorities can get mixed up if you don't.
- LTK: What is the best way to break into modeling?
MW: The only real way is to send your photos in to agents or to be scouted on the street. This happens a lot to the most successful girls, but is something you can't control. An agent will see you and just "know" you are right. It has a lot to do with body type and not a lot to do with whether or not you're a beautiful girl.
- LTK: Are modeling schools worth the money?
MW: I don't think so. I honestly think they are money-makers but not model-makers. If an agency thinks you are right for them, you'll learn on the job.
- LTK: Can even small-town girls become models?
MW: Yes. Agents are often sent on trips to scout out smaller cities. Not everyone lives in New York! You could be scouted at any local mall.
That said, if it's your passion, you should send some pictures to agencies and see what they think. Snapshots, Polaroids or casual pictures are fine. There is no need to spend money on professional photos. If they like your look, they should pay to have photos taken once you are signed.
- LTK: Any other advice?
MW: Just a reminder that everyone has big insecurities-especially models who are under constant scrutiny. Focus on what you love about yourself and get on with it. If you are meant to be a model, you'll find a way.